I thought that I already shared this lovely book here but a quick search in our archives revealed that I haven’t. I bought this book several years ago, but it is only now that the aurora borealis has acquired a different level of significance in my sensibilities and so, I fell in love with this beautiful book all over again. How could poetry by Sandburg and paintings done by Anita Lobel do any wrong, at all? This is an exquisite find, a Valentine treasure.
It is because I love you I give you for a birthday present the aurora borealis.
There seems to be a casual, everyday, easily-shrugged feel to capturing and holding on to the entire shining, shimmering skies and laying it on a loved one’s feet “because I love you.” Not to say of course, that it is devoid of panache, as it is a veritable display of theatricality befitting a loverman who is all-too-willing to struggle and goes on struggling to touch and tame the slippery swimmering lights to make his lady smile.
As if it is not enough, this faithful loverman promises that if his lady wants another aurora borealis, all she needs to do is say the word and he will travel to
“where the aurora borealises grow…
and I will struggle and go on struggling
till I lay on your doorstep, on your front porch,
one more aurora borealis, to show I love you.”
This book can not help but make anyone smile. So absurd is the entire notion that it can only be real and oh-so-true. My age-old exhausted wizened eyes though sometimes think that maybe showing up on one’s doorstep is enough sans the aurora borealis if that can not be tamed or ensnared in some other parallel universe. Sometimes the simplest thing like showing up is in itself a sheer impossibility. And more than enough.
This loverman though is the quintessential eager-to-please, willing-to-do-absolutely-anything, kind of guy. The recurrent word in the entire poem is ‘struggle’ – as he proves that despite the struggles, despite the difficulty, despite the impossibility of it all, he will be there, standing in her doorstep, making her smile, a rainbow in his hand.
Happy Valentine’s Day dear friends.
Not everyday an Aurora Borealis for Your Birthday: A Love Poem by Carl Sandburg and Pictures by Anita Lobel. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. Bought my own copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
Read-a-Latte Challenge: 32 of 150
Myra’s update: read 2 books from my TBR stack